Mesut Ozil admits he was a bit surprised by Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal’s head coach but insists the Spaniard is already proving he’s the right man for the job.
The German endured a very patchy relationship with Unai Emery and quickly fell foul of Freddie Ljungberg’s no-nonsense approach to discipline but appears to be back in favour and form under the Spaniard.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, Ozil said: “Every manager is different and obviously I have had some world class managers throughout my career.
“Mikel Arteta is different to the others but he is very focused on the ball and wants to make us very successful and I think he is the right man at this club.
“I was a bit surprised [Arteta was appointed at Arsenal] but on the other hand, time flies quite quickly and I remember when he went to work with Pep Guardiola at Man City, it was quite obvious he would become a manager soon.
“I am really happy that he is here with us at the moment because this is the right time. We are all happy to have him here.”
Arteta has already spoken about setting up his side to get the best out of the World Cup winner, a teammate at the Emirates for three years, and it appears the values the new head coach is installing are those that Ozil thinks have been missing recently.
“It is basically getting us back to the old Arsenal virtues. Having the possession, being in control of the game, having the ball all the time.
“These are the things that he is working on with us and you can see it – everyone is smiling, laughing, enjoying their time at the moment and this has made us be successful now.
“We are really enjoying everything at the moment. You can see we have a structure on the pitch now. Everyone knows what their job is on the pitch and we are very happy to have won these two games [against United and Leeds].”
He added: “We have a normal relationship. We were team-mates. We respected each other a lot and he was already a team captain at the time so in general players respected him and now he has just continued building up on that.
“As a playmaker, I need a lot of space. His playing style allows me to get that space and it is so important to be successful.”